Unlocking the World

Travel to Mexico during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN staffUpdated 28th November 2021
Life's a beach on the sands around Cancun.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on November 27.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Mexico, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Mexico is open to travelers. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts ask guests to fill out health questionnaires.
The land border between Mexico and the United States has been reopened to nonessential travel since November 8, 2021
Vaccinated American air travelers returning to the US need a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of their departing flight. Unvaccinated Americans will need to present a negative test taken within one day of departure for the US.
The US Embassy says results for PCR and antigen tests are reliably available within 72 hours in Mexico.
As of November 27, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintained Mexico's travel advisory rating at level 3 -- "high" risk. Level 4 is "very high" risk. The CDC advises travelers to be fully vaccinated before traveling to Mexico.

What's on offer

You'll find incredible food, sensational beaches, charming towns and historical remains. While the beach resorts around Cancun attract the bulk of visitors, those who want more than a fly and flop go for Mexico City's cultural heft, the coastline of Baja California and traditional towns such as Oaxaca.

Who can go

Mexico has had some of the world's loosest border restrictions with anyone allowed to travel by air for business or leisure. People planning to travel between Mexico and nations in southern Africa should carefully monitor the news for updates about the emerging Omicron variant. The United States, the European Union and other major destinations have already moved to block arrivals from seven southern African nations, including South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

What are the restrictions?

Travelers to the country must complete a health declaration form and scan the QR code it generates on arrival.
There is no need to take a test before departure or undertake any form of quarantine. Those concerned they may have symptoms should ask for the Sanidad Internacional health organization.

What's the Covid situation?

Mexico has had around 3.88 million cases of Covid-19 and almost 294,000 deaths as of November 27 (although some believe the actual numbers are higher). President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has come under fire for taking a laissez-faire approach to the virus. Restrictions have not been far reaching and life has gone on as normal for many, which critics say has led to high death and infection rates.
As of November 27, Mexico had administered more than 131.6 million doses of vaccine, or about 101 doses per 100 people.

What can visitors expect?

Mexico has a four-tier traffic light system of restrictions, with red signifying maximum restrictions, orange limiting capacity in public spaces and at work to 30%, yellow allowing for all work to resume and public gatherings to take place, and green meaning there are no restrictions in place. See a color-coded map here.
As of November 27, all states but one were categorized as green. That includes Quintana Roo, where popular tourist destinations Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located; Baja California Sur, home to Cabo San Lucas; and the bustling capital, Mexico City. Only Baja California, home to border city Tijuana, was orange.
Visitors are likely to find situations differ depending on where in the country they travel, with local restrictions varying. See the Local Resources section of the US Embassy website for specific information.

Useful links

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